The Spectacle Blog

Poor, Uneducated, and Easily Led

By on 5.1.06 | 5:05PM

With regard to Dave's post immediately below, the single worst -- nay, not just bad, but flat-out offensive -- line of Ryan Lizza's in his hit piece on George Allen, the one that Dave Holman so brilliantly skewered, was this: "Whuppin' his siblings might have been a natural prelude to Confederate sympathies and noose-collecting if Allen had grown up in, say, a shack in Alabama."

This astonishing bit of cultural condescension (not to mention slander against poor people from an entire state and, by implication, an entire region of the country) has more than just a small whiff of the infamous Washington Post story by Michael Weisskopf in 1993 in which he wrote that followers of the Christian Right are "largely poor, uneducated and easy to command."

The very next day, the Post ran a correction, "There is no factual basis for that statement," and Post writer Howard Kurtz on Feb. 6 quoted then-Post managing editor saying, "We really screwed up."

The question is, will the New Republic, usually a respectable journal, have the same decency the Post did and apologize for Mr. Lizza's slur?

Finally, any chance I get to point out just how culturally clueless so many members of the liberal East Coast media are, I always refer to the major newsmagazine (I temporarily have forgotten whether it was Time or Newsweek) which, in the early-to-mid 1990s, had a subhead that read thusly: "The surprising unsecularity of the American public" -- which of course would not have been a surprise to anybody who isn't in an elitist bubble, and which of course goes out of its way to make "secularity" the norm and then, worse, creates the dicordant word "unsecularity" rather than the simple, straightforward, words available, such as "faith" or "faithfulness" or even the New Age-sounding "spirituality."

The point is that, as in those other examples of liberal snobbishness and total lack of awareness of the broader American culture in which they live, the Lizza line combines all the worst elements of culturally biased journalism and, more simply, of the obnoxious, nose-in-the-air superciliousness that makes liberals so unattractive that voters keep defeating them at the polls.

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